Apple iTunes, the once-revolutionary and now near-passé music media player/library/management software that was introduced back in 2001 before even the iPod player, has finally been dropped by Apple on their latest upcoming macOS. This was announced by the company that developed it, during their Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose.

CNN reports that this Monday, June 3, Apple put the final nail in the iTunes coffin on its own operating systems. The computer and tech giant gave notice that the 18-year-old music program will no longer be included in macOS 10.15 Catalina.

The original iTunes functions will be divided and distributed into three separate applications.

To be replaced by three apps

The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference gave a definitive confirmation to speculation from last April that iTunes will be split into separate apps on macOS. As The Verge tells it, iTunes will now have its various features spun off to Apple Music, Apple Podcast and Apple TV. With this, the ecosystem of Mac desktop computers will now be similar to the iOS mobile system for iPhones. They have already phased out iTunes for the three apps mentioned above. The change was Apple’s way of catching up to the monthly-fee format for service rather than the pay-per-download method that was iTunes’ method.

Separating the bloated list of features for iTunes may have been one of the most sensible directions Apple has taken yet with its software interface. But that does not mean that all things related to iTunes are gone. The online iTunes Store can still be accessed to buy and download media files from, but the difference is that they will need to use the appropriate app for whichever file.

Apple Music must download songs while Apple TV is used for online movies and TV series episodes, including original Apple programming. The associated iTunes gift cards will also remain active, presumably until they are used up.

From vital to bothersome

Steve Jobs introduced iTunes in 2001. The program was said to cement the Mac desktop computer as the focal point of its user’s digital life, with iTunes as the primary interface of this hub.

Over the years Apple added new capabilities to iTunes, including expanding from music audio, to music videos, to outright films and TV shows. Over with the iPhones, the program was an essential component, with pre-iOS 5 units requiring iTunes to activate and install-manage mobile apps. It was this rapid evolution requiring frequent updates that eventually turned iTunes users away.

The last stable version release of iTunes (12.9.5) was released by Apple on May 28, just about a week ago. While it will be replaced by the Music/Podcast/TV app trio when macOS Catalina releases sometime this fall, iTunes will remain on Microsoft Windows. For how long, nobody knows for sure.